The Hunt (2012)
With a shocking, at times inconceivable script, menacing atmosphere, and an immaculate performance from Mads Mikkelsen. The Hunt is a rampant, threatening, suggestive thriller faultlessly depicting the limitations of social acceptance. Also drawing serious arguments regarding the affect of current societies impressions on young, innocent minds. The Hunt’s insight into the grave consequences of having access to temptation, knowledge, and private information at the tips of our fingers is bewildering. The Hunt marvellously assigns blame, judgement, and disappointment at the populaces boundless skepticism and untrustworthiness when they so willingly provide every secret, thought, location, emotion, and potentially damaging information unnecessarily. With an emotional, uncompromising heart flaming at its core. The Hunt is driven by the bonds forged between family and friends.
Lucas (Mikkelsen), who recently separated from his wife, is struggling with his lonely life and for custody for his son. Living in a small town, he has found a job assisting in teaching a group of children. When Lucas and Nadja (Alexandra Rapaport) strike up a meaningful relationship and his son delivers good news, it seems that Lucas’s luck has finally changed. As things progress with his career, relationship, and son, all is not well with Lucas’s good friend Theo and the School where he teaches. They are hit with some disturbing news and now Lucas finds himself in the middle of a vicious manhunt.
The Hunt is heavily reliant on the three modes of persuasion and the viewers ability to discover and understand them. Being able to create unjustified discomfort in the viewer while conversely presenting them with undeniable proof of the truth throughout the entire feature is an astounding accomplishment. But rendered useless if the reason for the emotion is miscomprehended. The Hunt boldly states that there is no returning from a tarnished reputation. Distinguishing equal importance to ones actions and others perception of them. Still, even though we know what is really happening, we get caught up in the pandemonium and begin to question our own thought process. It is unprecedented that a films message peer pressures an audience to discard the truth. Who knew that it could even be administered to viewers, let alone work effectively.
Director of The Hunt, Thomas Vinterberg’s astounding camerawork is something to marvel. Impeccable shots of a melancholic landscape and breathtaking views of small towns and its citizens, in addition to capturing their expansive emotions are but a taste of what Vinterberg has to offer The Hunt’s viewers. Vinterberg, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Tobias Lindholm, should be applauded, as well as Lindholm, for their poignant, original script. Instead of retracing what others have done, their tale of the relationships we forge, the mistakes we make, and the deceptive cunning of innocence is extremely relevant and unsettling. Even though the main focus is on one man’s struggle, the supporting cast and their gradually realization of the truth and the indifference they feel towards it is portrayed evenly.
To say that a single performance makes a film has never been truer. The Hunt would be lost without its lead, Mads Mikkelsen. His characters ability to separate the rage and invest in peaceful ignorance radiates through Mikkelsen’s portrayal. The subtle, infuriating helplessness his character succumbs to, Mikkelsen portrays beautifully and perfectly. Leading towards his demise, Mikkelsen remains composed and doesn’t crumble under any circumstance throughout The Hunt. The only supporting performance worth noting is Thomas Bo Larsen. His performance almost matches Mikkelsen’s stride for stride and considering how masterful Mikkelsen is in The Hunt, that’s high praise. Overall, the acting in The Hunt equals the quality and compassion of the script and directing, making a modern masterpiece.
The Hunt is terrifically acted, superbly directed, and vastly intelligent. I highly recommend this film to any cinephile.
The Hunt: 8.5 out of 10.
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